Cross-Border Virtual Entrepreneurship
|Lifelong Learning Programme 2007 - 2013
|Duration of project
|24 months (October 2007 – September 2009)
|Prof. Maria Amata Garito
Conventional universities have difficulties in effectively responding to the lifelong learning paradigm [COM(2006) 208]. A great number of conventional universities are still in the strategy of educating traditional students in the age category of 18-25. To delineate this development would imply that a vast number of potential (lifelong) learners will not be reached. Demographics and global competition however make the necessity of reaching those learners very clear [COM(2005) 24]. With the number of learners outside the traditional cohorts to increase, the need to act on the development of their skills is of vital interest to the long-term competitiveness of the Union. Open and distance teaching universities are strong in this field. They render years of experience in deploying flexible approaches to reach different categories of learner [EADTU, 2006, 2005, 2004]. Virtual Entrepreneurship Curriculum Embedding (CBVE) is to lever this experience. CBVE is a collaborative action by an established European consortium to urgently address the skills of the lifelong learner in a way that fits the needs of the contemporary learner, not (longer) part of the traditional cohort (including minorities). CBVE is dedicated to serve priority skills of interest: entrepreneurial.
Entrepreneurship is a vital force in the economies of developed countries [Audretsch, 2002]. In this proposal we refer to entrepreneurship as the process of exploiting opportunities that exist in the environment or that are created through innovation in an attempt to create value. It mostly refers to the creation and management of a new business venture by an individual or a team. Entrepreneurship is forwarded high on the agenda of the European Commission [COM(2006) 33]. This is not without reason: Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) in Europe constitute almost 99% of all enterprises and two thirds of all employment i.e., 75 million jobs [EC, 2006]. Entrepreneurship though, is not limited to new business or start-ups alone. It also includes intra-organisational out-of-the-box thinking i.e., innovative intrapreneurship and associated risk taking, properties which contribute to the long term competitiveness of especially large organisations.
The main objective of CBVE is to enhance the professional skills of students by lifelong open and flexible learning approaches, with a specific focus on the development, extension and expansion of entrepreneurial skills. CBVE is to pilot entrepreneurship as prospective part of the curriculum for students not (longer) part of traditional cohorts. CBVE addresses the training of trainers as well i.e., the upgrading of entrepreneurial skills of the academic staff involved. CBVE has a clear operational focus on cooperation between higher education institutions and relevant stakeholders in the field: Regional Entrepreneurial Networks, Chambers of Commerce, Investment Banks and other Professional Organisations. This has been acknowledged to be a major lifelong learning priority.
By developing pedagogically-rich learning content and recruiting non-traditional learners, CBVE directly engages the stated target group and offers them a unique opportunity to lever entrepreneurial training. Such learners also benefit from third-party engagement and interaction through stakeholders outside the university, when being confronted with a (critical) assessment on their proposed business ventures. A main benefit for the learner is the value added which is created in his or her portfolio concerning acquired entrepreneurial competence. In the end, the learner is better equipped for successful business start-up, as well as for innovation inside traditional companies. In all, the prospects of (self and/or wage) employability increase.
Besides for learners, CBVE holds an upright institutional benefit for both open and distance teaching universities and for conventional universities. It fills the blank spot for the open and distance teaching universities where traditionally the investments in education, training and (external) networking for entrepreneurship are few. It fills the blank spot for the conventional universities where traditionally no flexible entrepreneurial learning approaches are included for reaching students outside traditional cohorts. In reaching the lifelong learner, conventional universities may especially benefit from transferring pedagogically-rich learning styles, as developed by distance education.
CBVE DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The main need to be addressed is the development, extension and expansion of entrepreneurial skills where learners are concerned which are disadvantaged in education and skilling of entrepreneurship, in particular learners which are disadvantaged as not being part of traditional cohorts. A comprehensive action is devised to address this need through education and training in cooperation with both conventional and open and distance teaching universities within the consortium, and with the with the help of external bodies. This action is subdivided into different work packages, discussed next. Prospects for elaborating on entrepreneurship by learners outside tradition cohorts are currently not blooming. Those intending to learn more about the entrepreneurial challenge are practically left standing in the cold. Open and distance teaching universities for example have no institutional booth with referatory information for students to consult, nor do they offer professional support, guidance and counselling to encourage start-ups successfully. Many students already enrolled in distance education may likely to loose entrepreneurial spirit i.e., self-employment over regular employment possibilities, despite the fact that particularly here major opportunities lie for fostering (traditional) entrepreneurship, as well as for fostering flexible modes of entrepreneurship such as parttimepreneurs, distancepreneurs, seniorpreneurs, weekendpreneurs, etc. The need for a “referatory” portal for entrepreneurship in distance or adult education is apparent. A dedicated portal should serve the lifelong learner i.e., the learner outside traditional cohorts, and should be regionally embedded with liaisons to important stakeholders in the field. On this university portal, actual or potential entrepreneurs (full-time or part-time), should be able to find start-up information, expert references and university enrolment schemes for professional courses and trainings. The project includes this action in one of the core work packages. To address the entrepreneurial skills of learners outside traditional cohorts i.e., distance students, which are, or have been deprived of high-quality education in this respect, the project intends to offer dedicated pedagogically-rich education and training opportunities. To do so, it aims to deploy well-grounded didactic and technological models as founded in distance education. One work package is concerned with this job. It has a clear focus on creation, development and testing of cutting-edge learning and training materials, and/or the adaptation thereof. The scheme levers state-of-the-art knowledge from contributing disciplines.
Students receive specific training on how to start (and run) a business, including the capacity to draft a real business plan and the skills associated with methods of identifying and assessing business opportunities. Students will be thought how embryonic business ideas can be supported (for instance by referring to special loans, business facilities, mentorship, etc.), and what the process is of putting projects into practice and on the market. Education and training is delivered online, using an electronic learning environment, dedicated to delivery of flexible education. The geographically dispersed learners are communalised by concept of international virtual mobility. Training of academic staff is prerequisite and relies on workshops in which professionally coached and interactive sessions move all attendants towards the development of entrepreneurial attitude and skills. How the actual “learning by doing” by prospective student entrepreneurs is organised, is addressed by the design, configuration andd planning of an actual testbed. It deals with the organisation of business planning inside a supportive and incubating environment, an environment which strongly fosters knowledge acquisition, exchange and creation processes, and which is able to provide a real learning experience to students. As of the constraints i.e., non-traditional & distance learning, technological support for this environment is envisaged. During the pilot a virtual entrepreneurial space will be configured, it will provide the main platform on which learners, academic staff and third parties interact. Besides design, configuration and planning of the test-bed, development of criteria by which to measure post-pilot success will be formulated. The actual pilot-run on business planning itself, as operationalised by (virtual) integration of students, academic staff and external stakeholders, forwards a multi-institutional group of (international) learners, which gradually develops competence in entrepreneurship. Leading in the pilot-run is the principle of competition. A real contest between talented role-playing students, which are geographically dispersed, sets the stage for advancing embryonic ideas on product, organisation (mission, vision and core values), strategy, stakeholders, environment, marketing plan, production plan, financial plan, management plan, and legislative matters. Through successive phases of coaching by academic staff and through consultation with third-parties, entrepreneurial competence is built. Moreover, with the coaching of students, the pilot also acts on the valorisation of the entrepreneurial skills of the academic staff. In the end, a jury of professionals selects the most prosperous business plan. The inclusion of external professionals is also important as it increases the prospects for localised spin-offs and start-ups i.e., regional valorisation.
By increasing the visibility, education, and training of entrepreneurialism for non-traditional learners i.e., distance students, as described by some main actions above, this project hopes to directly stimulate the entrepreneurial competence of this group in the short term, and hopes to contribute to a boost/increase of (regional) entrepreneurship rates, in the long term. As of distance didactics, miscellaneous disadvantaged groups (previously deprived) are able to seize opportunity to become skilled in entrepreneurialism and increase chances for self-employment. In the short term, distance education institutions and staff benefit also benefit: with partners of the consortium, they lever collaborative development of competence and (inter-institutional) sharing of educational resources. In administrative, organisational, financial and pedagogical preparation of (virtual) staff and student mobility, the open and distance teaching universities may also identify new and innovative strategies for internationalisation. Long term beneficiaries are regional development centres and semi-government stakeholders. They have prospects of coaching and sustaining new SME start-up potential for the region (by localisation of initiatives). Other long term beneficiaries are venture banks (i.e., financial stakeholders). By potential return on investment, they are able to provide support for, and invest financially in, high-potential startups. The project intends to cascade all signalled business opportunities to the above identified (regional) stakeholders, directly - by means of liaison contacts (as of project involvement), and indirectly - by means of the proposed referatory portal.
A dedicated quality management plan is included in this proposal. The quality management plan is to ensure that monitoring of the project is performed adequately and accurately. It identifies procedures, criteria and resources for monitoring the project. It also deals with the evaluation of the progress of the project, risk and issue management, and with internal and/or external evaluation of the deliverables in comparison with the needs of the target group(s) and sector(s) and of the potential users. Quality management ensures that the project stays on track with the scheduled deliverables and within the budget. Project processes will be monitored for effectiveness and project risks will continuously be addressed. Project status reports are generated to indicate status and make recommendations. Such items addressed are: overall project, project staffing, project expenses to date, deliverables of current reporting period, deliverables of upcoming reporting period, project communications, project risks, project issues, change requests, and project quality activities. Corrective actions are taken if so called upon. The quality assurance manual is to spearhead effective cooperation and communication between the partner institutions and accordingly is to help.
Justification of the Proposal
Modernisation of Europe’s universities, has been acknowledged not only as a core condition for the success of the broader Lisbon Strategy, but as part of the wider move towards an increasingly global and knowledge-based economy. With 4 000 institutions, over 17 million students and some 1.5 million staff - of whom 435 000 are researchers - European universities have enormous potential, but this potential is not fully harnessed and put to work effectively to underpin Europe’s drive for more growth and more jobs.
Most universities are still locked into conventional strategies. They tend to offer the same courses to the same group of academically (best-qualified young) students and fail to open up to other types of learning and learners, e.g. non-degree retraining courses for adults or gap courses for students not coming through the traditional routes. This has not only impeded access for disadvantaged social groups and prevented higher enrolment rates, but moreover slowed down innovation in curricula, teaching and delivery methods. Urgent addressing in this respect is needed for entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is a key competence for growth, employment and personal fulfilment. A scientific survey shows that countries exhibiting a greater increase in entrepreneurship rates tend to exhibit greater subsequent decreases in unemployment rates [Audretsch, 2002]. The capacity of an economy to successfully compete and grow depends on balancing the stock of enterprises through encouraging more start-ups and managing business transfer.
Formal education in Europe has traditionally not been conducive to entrepreneurship, few chairs in entrepreneurship exist in Europe. Formal education can however greatly contribute greatly to successfully addressing the entrepreneurial challenge within the EU. Special attention to systematically integrate entrepreneurship training in studies and within institutions e.g., universities and polytechnics, will help to develop entrepreneurial competence of staff and students, and increase the chances of start-ups and spin-offs [EC, 2002]. Although no immediate evidence between education and venture creation is established, and not everyone who develop entrepreneurial competence will become entrepreneurs, favourable conditions can be created by educational incentive [Sluis et al., 2005].
With the effects of demographic change becoming apparent and conventional universities still largely focused on traditional students cohorts, an innovative way must be devised to address the mentioned (entrepreneurial) competence of the lifelong learner in an flexible manner. The acquiring of such competence must be opened up to learners in various stages of life. The open and distance teaching universities dedicated to lifelong open and flexible learning, can lever their expertise in this area. They render years of experience in deploying flexible didactical and pedagogical approaches to reach different learners, outside the traditional student cohorts. With this project, open and distance teaching universities as well as conventional universities, intent to fill the blank spot for where no structured entrepreneurial training opportunities and external network liaisons with business are in place, and where no flexible learning approaches regarding entrepreneurship are installed for reaching students outside traditional cohorts.
CBVE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1. to help promote creativity, competitiveness, employability and the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit;
2. to contribute to increased participation in lifelong learning by people of all disadvantaged groups, regardless of their socio-economic background;
3. to support the development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practice for lifelong learning;
4 To improve the quality and to increase the volume of cooperation between higher education institutions and enterprises.
The main objective of CBVE is to enhance the professional skills of students by lifelong open and flexible, didactically-innovative and pedagogically-rich learning approaches, with a specific focus on the development, extension and expansion of entrepreneurial skills. CBVE is to pilot entrepreneurship in a novel way, as prospective part of the curriculum for students not (longer) part of traditional cohorts. It includes the training of trainers as well i.e., the upgrading of entrepreneurial skills of academic staff involved. The project aims to address the needs identified previously, such as filling the blank spot for where no structured entrepreneurial training opportunities and external network liaisons with business are in place, and where no flexible learning approaches regarding entrepreneurship are in place for reaching students outside traditional cohorts.
Entrepreneurship (actual or potential) is influenced by a number of factors. The importance of learning about factors affecting entrepreneurship (whereas the addressing of non-traditional targets groups is concerned), increases ever more. Especially with demographic developments such as aging (i.e., entrepreneurship in later stages of life) and ethnical diversification (i.e., cultural factors influencing entrepreneurship), CBVE hopes to contribute to explaining some drivers of entrepreneurship and hopes to integrate them into the body of knowledge for competency development. With innovative instruments and combined institutional approaches, VECA intents to take up the development of entrepreneurial competence for non-traditional target groups by collaborative action with the conventional and distance teaching universities.
The objectives of this project are clearly linked to the main objectives and priorities as identified by the Commission and elaborated on in section A.5. By allowing for the development and delivery of didactically-innovative and pedagogically-rich learning approaches, covering the area of entrepreneurship, in cooperation with both conventional and distance teaching universities, and external stakeholders in the field, this project helps to improve existing quality and volume of ICTbased course content (LLP-Obj-h) and helps promote creativity, competitiveness, employability and growth of the entrepreneurial spirit (LLP-Obj-e). In reaching out to learners outside traditional cohorts i.e., not being served by traditional universities, the project by competency of open an distance teaching universities, also contributes to increased participation of currently disadvantaged groups (LLP-Obj-f).
Regarding the operational and specific objectives, the project addresses the cooperation between higher education institutions and enterprises, in that interaction with the business community and regional stakeholders are fundamental for the project to structure its test beds in which students develop their own businesses plans, which subsequently are assessed by external third parties. This part of the project coincides with the topical priority 2007, to include professional organisations, chambers of commerce and local/regional bodies and aligns with the deployment of strategies for cooperation between higher education and enterprises which have a clear concept of guidance and counselling. By delivery of student master class materials and training of teachers on entrepreneurship, the project moreover addresses the introducing of entrepreneurship as prospective part of the curriculum for students and especially as a skill for teachers/researchers.
Developing strategies for cooperation between higher education and enterprises which has to include a clear concept of guidance and counselling;
Introduce entrepreneurship as part of the curriculum for students and especially as a skill for teachers/researchers;
Including small and medium-sized enterprises as well as professional organisations, chambers of commerce, social partners and local/regional bodies;
Explanation of short-term impact targets
The short term targets whereas dissemination is concerned, are based on (experience) statistics EADTIU gathers, when propagating information through its extensive network of contacts. Its member base now counts 25 members and thousands of contacts. It is comprised of renowned universities and consortia, dedicated to lifelong open and flexible learning and consortia, from over twenty-one different countries, serving offcampus target groups with accredited quality. Moreover, participants in the CBVE consortium will work to achieve contribution to these targets during the funding period by disseminating project regionally and nationally, as well as through podia on the European level. The CBVE targets on content creation and language versioning have been based on prior experience in (partnering) EC projects project where content development was a deliverable (e-Taster project, e2ngineering project, etc). The number of learners admitted into the CBVE master-class on entrepreneurship is primarily based on a preset number of students that will (still) be manageable for the partnership (also) in the pilot-run. The number of participant targeted to attend the CBVE events (i.e., evaluation, training and valorisation), are estimated with some reserve: chances are that these numbers will (even) be higher, especially taking into consideration the importance of “entrepreneurship” amongst EADTU members and the addressing of entrepreneurship on the agenda of the EADTU Rectors’ and Associations’ assembly: European meetings convened annually by EADTU.
Long Term Targets
This section should provide details relating to the impact that your consortium would hope to have beyond the end of the funding period. This should take into account any “cascade effect” anticipated as a result of, for example, the training of trainers and educators, conferences and seminars, policy papers and studies, the development of new curricula and methodologies. The long-term targets may therefore have a different profile from the short-term targets.
Explanation of long-term impact targets and sustainability
Key actions will secure the sustainability of the project results over time. Potential action lines are presented below. For more information on valorisation and sustainability, please refer to the valorisation plan. First, the CBVE consortium seeks structural embedding of the project deliverables into current practices i.e., courses and curricula. This is done so by staff working with the developed deliverables of the project. Second, a multiplier effect of entrepreneurialism spirit is not just anticipated for students, but for colleague academic staff as well (as the cascade-effect of training the staff and staff showing off their skills). Third, distribution of good-practice on virtual entrepreneurship as found in the project, are distributed among the (other) EADTU members, herewith facilitating the possible usage or adoption of developed deliverables, or elements hereof, by a total of universities 25 actors, outside the CBVE consortium. Fourth, by opening up some deliverables under a Creative Commons licence (or others) i.e., making some parts or whole Open Education Resource (OER), a larger community can be addressed to assure product sustainability over time. Fifth, by integrating the CBVE portal into the larger EADTU Virtual Mobility portal and associated (existing) funding structures, would create a more sustainable model for retention of web traffic to the CBVE portal and would create a more sustainable model for management of its content. Sixth, by offering entrepreneurial training and workshops on demand to third parties, the developed educational content as well as the configured virtual entrepreneurial space is exploited non-commercial use/ non-profit model: costcovering).
CBVE ROLE OF UNINETTUNO
The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO is amongst others responsible for Joint development and delivery of pedagogically-rich education and training materials, as work package leader. The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead (see detailed work planning).
CBVE WORK PROGRAM
The project consist of nine work packages:
Work-package 1 (WP1) General project management
With this work package on general project management EADTU coordinates the project and coaches the participants towards the stated aims.
For WP1 the following activities are planned:
- WP1.1 Coordinator management, financial administration, monitoring and reporting
- WP1.2 Institutional management, financial administration, monitoring and reporting
October 2007 – September 2009 (24 months)
Work-package 2 (WP2) Requirements’ analysis for the European Web Portal
The aim of this work package is to provide for a multi-country “referatory” portal (NL, EE, HU, PL, ES, IT) for distance students to consult, whereas (native) professional support, guidance and counselling for SME start-ups is concerned. Partners maintain pages in their own language with vital (regional) information on quick references for student-starters, entrepreneurial networks, chambers of commerce, investment banks, and education and training possibilities. The portal is to especially animate the native (regional) speaking lifelong learner, by raising awareness, prospecting and guiding. Native dissemination is facilitated and regional successes may be emulated. So as to lever (common) student search approaches, the portal (hyperlink) is integrated into local university websites. The portal also refers to the (multilingual) Master Class on entrepreneurialism (developed in the project) as well as to the (password protected) collaborative entrepreneurial space for students, staff and external stakeholders (for participants of the international pilot run).
For WP2 the following activities are planned:
- WP2.1 Research into local networks, stakeholders and student-starter information
- WP2.2 Design of partner-regional sections, agreement on global (i.e., English) and local (native language) identity
- WP2.3 Development of collaborative space for students, staff and externals
October 2007 – March 2008 (6 months)
Work-package 3 (WP3) Joint development and delivery of pedagogically-rich education and training materials
The aim of this work package is development and delivery of pedagogically-rich education and training materials for Master Class usage (max. 2 ECTS; 50 hours of study load). It involves the creation, development and testing of cutting-edge (distance didactics) learning materials, and/or the adaptation thereof. The Master Class on entrepreneurship, is to be delivered fully online, in English, for distance education students entering into the business pilot. To target (and animate) the entrepreneurial spirit of mostly native speaking learners, the English Master Class will become available (also) in the four languages IT, ES, EE, and HU (i.e., the countries participating in the pilot-run). This work package further addresses the provisions for staff training and support. For sustainability and enhanced valorisation, the development of materials under an “open license” e.g., Creative Commons (CC), shall be investigated. The technical course delivery is foreseen via the University of Miskolc.
For WP3 the following activities are planned:
- WP3.1 Development of a course model for Master Class materials
- WP3.2 Research, development and integration of the Master Class materials
- WP3.3 Course testing and possible adaptation
- WP3.4 Staff training and actual course delivery
A (sub)planning of activities for each work package is presented. It includes the stated sub-activities within each work package, the partners taking part, as well as the duration of the activities.
January 2008 – Sept 2008 (9 months)
Work-package 4 (WP4) Criteria and configuration of an entrepreneurial test-bed
The aim of this work package is the devising of criteria for, and the configuration of, an entrepreneurial test-bed. It involves blueprinting business planning inside a supportive and incubating environment, an environment which strongly fosters knowledge acquisition, exchange and creation processes, and which is able to provide a real learning experience to students. It includes the legitimisation of the approach to be taken in the pilot, student, staff and stakeholder configuration, expected contingencies and potential solutions. The test bed can be designed either longitudinal (one test-run), cascade (small sequential runs) or concurrent (parallel runs), with potential flexible composition(s) of students, depending on the final scientific framework approved.
For WP4 the following activities are planned:
- WP4.1 General framework for pilot-run (models for organisation)
- WP4.2 Scripting of scenarios for business planning pilot
- WP4.3 Logistics of institutions, staff, students and externals
- WP4.4 Technical facilities for collaboration on platform
February 2008 – September 2008 (8 months)
University of Miskolc
Work-package 5 (WP5) Pilot-run virtual business planning
The aim of this work package is to generate a step-wise approach for coaching students in the development of their competence and enterprise planning, providing feedback and reflection by staff and stakeholders. Through successive phases of coaching by academic staff and through consultations with thirdparties, entrepreneurial competence is built. The test bed is initiated either longitudinal (one test-run), cascade (small sequential runs) or concurrent (parallel runs), with potential flexible composition(s) of students, depending on selected scientific framework. Knowledge transfer by academic staff and associated skills’ valorisation at students are the main drivers of this package.
For WP5 the following activities are planned:
- WP5.1 Students acquainted with virtual work-environment
- WP5.2 Development, extension and expansion of competence
- WP5.3 Presentation of (start/finish/intermediate) enterprise proposals
- WP5.4 Monitoring and reporting: staff and external appraisal
October 2008 – April 2009 (7 months)
Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia
Work-package 6 (WP6) Post-pilot success and lessons learned
In this Work Package the verification of the project results with the originally intended objectives is presented. It is established to what extent the project objectives have been met. If any, it is described what the most important pitfalls were and what is to be done to prevent stepping into such pitfalls again with regard to initiating programmes and projects for virtual entrepreneurship. Specific factors influencing the success of virtual entrepreneurship are considered such as technical, didactical, pedagogical, and organisational ones, are brought forward. The scientific achievements of the project are elaborated on and recommendations for future research are given. Experiences of staff, students and externals are reported.
For WP6 the following activities are planned:
- WP6.1 Assessment of project objectives
- WP6.2 Experiences of students, staff and externals
- WP6.3 Report on the lessons learned
- WP6.4 A guide on (virtual) entrepreneurship
March 2009 – August 2009 (6 months)
Work-package 7 (WP7) Quality and evaluation plan
A dedicated quality management plan is included in this proposal. The quality management plan is to ensure that monitoring of the project is performed adequately and accurately. It identifies procedures, criteria and resources for monitoring the project. It also deals with the evaluation of the progress of the project, risk and issue management, and with internal and/or external evaluation of the deliverables in comparison with the needs of the target group(s) and sector(s) and of the potential users. Quality management ensures that the project stays on track with the scheduled deliverables and within the budget. Project processes will be monitored for effectiveness and project risks will continuously be addressed. Project status reports are generated to indicate status and make recommendations. Such items addressed are: overall project, project staffing, project expenses to date, deliverables of current reporting period, deliverables of upcoming reporting period, project communications, project risks, project issues, change requests, and project quality activities. Corrective actions are taken if so called upon. The quality assurance manual is to spearhead effective cooperation and communication between the partner institutions and accordingly is to help signal any possible conflicts that may arise between partners.
For WP7 the following activities are planned:
- WP7.1 Quality management and monitoring
- WP7.2 Updating quality assurance manual
- WP7.3 Final evaluation and project appraisal
October 2007 – September 2009 (24 months)
Work-package 8 (WP8) Dissemination
A dissemination plan is included in this proposal. EADTU and partnership will systematically disseminate project results to policy advisors, staff and students within (and outside) universities, and other more regional stakeholders of interest (professional networks). To establish the impact of the project, partners within the project are stimulated as much as possible, to quantify their responses on promotion materials and measures. The actual feasibility of performance measurement may differs depending on the instruments used. But whereas possible, numbers of interested ‘starter’ students, (local) stakeholders, number of page-hits on the portal, responses to mailings, visitations at conference stands or presentations, etc. etc. will be monitored very closely so as to ensure that the measures taken, have an expected impact.
For WP8 the following activities are planned:
- WP8.1 Local promotion
- WP8.2 Regional promotion
- WP8.3 National promotion
- WP8.4 International promotion
October 2007 – September 2009 (24 months)
Work-package 9 (WP9) Exploitation
An exploitation or valorisation plan is included in this proposal. The objective of valorising the project is to enable its results to become “sustainable”. When the project comes to its end, its results should still be available for usage by different groups. The proposal includes a strategy to enable usage i.e., exploitation of the project results after termination. Such valorisation strategy aims to fulfil the objective of general post-project usage of project results. It differs from commercialisation in that commercialisation is focused on generating a profit.
For WP9 the following activities are planned:
- WP9.1 Quality and branding of consortium
- WP9.2 Early-stage “co-development” with stakeholders
- WP9.3 Incorporation into existing systems and practices (curriculum, projects)
- WP9.4 Sustainability through Open educational Resources (materials open, trainings closed)
- WP9.5 Valorisation of project and products through (external) services
October 2007 – September 2009 (24 months)
CBVE PARTNERS DESCRIPTION
European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) (NL)
EADTU is Europe’s leading representative association of distance education and e-learning. Its member base now counts 25 members and is comprised of renowned universities and consortia, dedicated to lifelong open and flexible learning and consortia, from over twenty-one different countries, serving offcampus target groups with accredited quality. Members of EADTU are universities which are dedicated to off-campus target groups, using distance teaching methods and systemic study guidance, mostly in regional study centres as well as organisations including consortia consisting of universities with mainly mainstream on-campus students but also give priority to offering education for off-campus students. The European structure of EADTU is extensive and levers direct liaisons with academic officers on the local level. EADTU has a clear responsibility for leadership. Over the past years EADTU has taken the role of coordinator and valorisation for different European projects. The EADTU network is excellent for this purpose: it covers the European Union and most of the Central Eastern European Countries (CEEC). EADTU took upon itself the transnational role of promoting Lifelong Open and Flexible (LOF) learning and the strengthening of programmes for lifelong learning, e-learning, quality assurance and accreditation processes.
Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project / network The EADTU, is amongst others responsible for the General project management, the Quality and evaluation plan, Dissemination and Exploitation, as work package leader. EADTU further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead.
ESTONIAN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATION – TALLIN UNIVERSITY (EE)
The Tallinn University resulted from a merger of several universities and research institutes in Tallinn, and now consists of 6 faculties (Fine Arts, Educational Sciences, Physical Education, Philology, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences), 2 academic institutes (Institute of History, Estonian Institute of Humanities), the Baltic Film and Media School as well as 4 research institutes (Institute of Estonian Demography, Institute of Ecology, Institute of Educational Research, Institute of International and Social Studies) and two regional colleges. Its main strengths lie in the fields of humanities and social sciences, and a strong and constantly growing component of natural and exact sciences, as well as a notable tradition of teacher training and educational research. The University at present, it is the fastest growing university in the country. The University operates within The Estonian Information Technology Foundation (EITF): an organisation founded by the Estonian Republic, Tartu University, Tallinn Technical University, Eesti Telekom and the Association of Estonian Information Technology and Telecommunications Companies. EITF supports the preparation of highly qualified IT specialists and information and communication technology-related development in Estonia. For these purposes the Foundation established and manages the Estonian IT College and administers the National Support Program for ICT in Higher Education "Tiger University." EITF works closely with both universities as well as with IT and telecom industries.
Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project / network The Tallinn University, is amongst others responsible for the Development and embedding of a referatory for entrepreneurship, as work package leader. Tallinn University further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead.
UNIVERSITY OF MISKOLC (NHRDEC) - (HU)
The University of Miskolc, is one of the largest provincial universities of Hungary, offering both BSc, MSc and PhD degree courses in the widest range of disciplines, at 7 Faculties, one College and 2 institutions, for approximately 7500 full-time and 7500 part-time students. Based on the long-term, successful collaboration of its two units: Faculty of Economics and the North Hungarian Regional Distance Education Centre and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, several national and international projects have been implemented for developing advanced e-learning programmes, offered for entrepreneurs, SMEs and different sectors of economy. Faculty of Economics was established in 1987, now includes 6 Institutes with 15 Departments. The number of undergraduate full-time students is 1200-1300, while number of part time students (undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD) is about 800 per year. Two-cycle (Bologna) system was implemented in 2006/2007 academic year, with the following programs: Economics and Management (BA), Commerce and Marketing (BA), International Business (BA), Finance and Accounting (BA). North Hungarian Regional Distance Education Centre is the Open Distance Learning (ODL) unit of the University of Miskolc - a main driver and coordinator of 28 national and international projects for developing infrastructure, ODL networking systems and course development (more than 60 modules have been developed or are still under development). Based on a public-private partnership contract, all full -time, on-campus students of the University of Miskolc (approximately 7500 students) have free access to the advanced e-learning system, named COEDU, since October 2003. At the Faculty of Economics, number of students using e-learning methodology in blended learning approach has been over 1000 for the last semester.
Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project / network University of Miskolc Criteria will amongst others lead in providing collaborative (technical) platform where all stakeholders can meet, and be responsible for the criteria and configuration of an entrepreneurial test-bed, as work package leader. The University of Miskolc further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead.
MARIE CURIE SKLODOWSKA UNIVERSITY (PL)
Maria Curie Sklodowska University has been steadily expanding to meet the changes of a leading European institution. About 33 thousand students are currently enrolled on full time, extramural, and evening undergraduate, graduate and teacher training courses provided by ten faculties in 30 different study programs. The university employs approximately 1800 staff members. Postgraduate and doctoral study programs are increasingly popular. Maria Curie- Sklodowska University cooperates with the Academy of Humanities and Economics in Lodz. in the Polish Virtual University (PUW), herewith offering study programmes and extension courses over the Internet, with a main task to support traditional lectures and trainings as well as promote modern teaching methods. PUW is a a competence centre for methodology, technology and organisation of eLearning with the capacity to provide state-of-the-art information technologies and methodological support. In addition, the Maria Curie Sklodowska drives The University Centre for Distance Learning and Open Courses (UCZNiKO). It has been established in 2001 as the University’s unit responsible for organizing and running projects involving education via the Internet. It operates value added services by the UMCS Career Office. Moreover, it is an organisational unit responsible for vocational training in European firms and enterprises. The specialised database contains associated information on student opportunities. The availability of professional networks on a local level, and the possibility of close cooperation with (local) employers, is a contributing asset.
Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network The Maria Curie Sklodowska University is amongst others responsible for Post-pilot success and lessons learned, as work package leader. The Maria Curie Sklodowska University further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead.
UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE EDUCACION A DISTANCIA (UNED) (ES)
UNED was founded in 1972. It is a Spanish University funded by the Spanish Government. UNED provides preferential access to university and further education for all those who, while capable of pursuing higher studies, are unable to attend on-campus classes for working, financial, residential or any other similar reasons. UNED applies techniques and experience for distance teaching and innovates by means of new educational models, with the purpose of serving both students and any Universities or Institutions with which it holds cooperation agreements. UNED actively sets up and develops programmes for further education and for cultural and professional improvement. UNED courses are taught at a distance for students all over the world. Some Abroad Centres are: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Equatorial Guinea, Japan, Morocco, and United States. UNED had over 180.000 students enrolled in the years 2003-2004. Nowadays, UNED offers graduate studies in 22 different fields that include Humanities Sciences and Social Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Engineering and Computer Science. The graduate studies are complemented by postgraduate and doctoral studies. UNED also offers post-graduate courses like Masters and specialisation courses for those people who have finished their graduate studies and want to continue studying (i.e., ongoing education). UNED is actively collaborating and cooperating with important institutions at the international level, such as: The Global Development Learning Network (Institute of the World Bank), Organization of American States (OAS), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Ibero-American Association of Higher Open and Distance Learning (AIESAD). Moreover, UNED is actively involved in R&D projects, as funded by the European Commission (EC).
Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network The UNED is amongst others responsible for Pilot-run virtual business planning, as work package leader. The UNED further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead.
INTERNATIONAL TELEMATIC UNIVERSITY UNINETTUNO (IT)
The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO is a single institution conceived on a grand scale. The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, established by Ministry Decree (April 2005) has been realised to valorise and enlarge the telematic didactic system settled by Consorzio NETTUNO (Network per l’Uni Ovunque, founded in 1992), enlarged at Euro-Mediterranean level thanks to the international success of the Med Net’U Project (Mediterranean Network of Universities). Med Net’U, funded by the European Community as part of the Eumedis Programme, a network was established among 31 partners of 11 countries of the Euromediterranean area aimed at designing and realizing university courses at a distance in a multilingual format.
With the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, the Universities of the different countries are actually creating shared knowledge networks together and cooperate to deliver multilingual international university degrees at a distance. The aim and the international vision, clearly appear from the name of the UNINETTUNO University and they represent a funding factor of its establishment, as mentioned in the University Statute, (art. 1. point 6 and 7) that stated: “The University together with national and international organisations contributes to the definition and implementation of programs of scientific cooperation, and education” and envisages “in view of achieving international cooperation, the University can enter into agreements and conventions with Universities and cultural and scientific institutions of other countries; by so doing it can therefore promote and encourage international exchange of teachers, researchers and students, even with an economic involvement”.
The international Telematic University courses are completely on-line. The University has developed a learning environment on the Internet (www.uninettunouniversity.net) the first portal in the world where it is possible to teach and learn in five languages – Arabic, French, English, Italian and Spanish. The University has a long experience in international research programme cooperation: from 1994, year of the first research project funded by the European Commission (TELESCOPIA - TransEuropean LEarning System for Crossborder OPen and Interactive Applications) until now, the University has been working on over 30 research projects, in the framework of the 4th, the 5th and the 6th framework programme. A particularly important aspect has been the experience of designing common curricula shared a the European and Euromediterranean level implemented by the LIVIUS (Learning in Virtual Integrated University System) and Med Net’U projects. Actually, the complete didactic offer of the University is designed and realised according to the Bologna Declaration (3+2) and structured in Credits (ECTS). The University wants to continue and enlarge the activities in the research and in the training field in the framework of the Virtual Mobility of students, started in 2003, with the cooperation in several European projects in the sector Virtual Campuses of the Elearning programme (HEAL - Higher Education E-Learning courses Assessment and Label, REVE - REal Virtaul Erasmus Project; E-MOVE, An Operational Conception of Virtual Mobility). Virtual Mobility represents, in fact, a new potential chance for distance universities to offer an international experience to the students, and to contribute to the Bologna process. Virtual Mobility could represent a unique chance for students, who otherwise would not be able to gain an international “real” experience, as working students, disabled people, etc. Or Virtual Mobility can represent a preparatory phase of a real mobility or, after an experience abroad, a complementary phase.
Role of the participant organisation in the proposed project/network The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO is amongst others responsible for Joint development and delivery of pedagogically-rich education and training materials, as work package leader. The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead.